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Wednesday, 16 September 1936

Senator GUTHRIE (Victoria) . - I agree with many of the remarks made regarding the insufficiency of the statistical knowledge that is collated; the analyses of the various branches of statistics are by no means perfect. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) laid stress upon the large number of people in Australia who are alleged to have no income. But I think that the figures are misleading in that they include people who, on account of age conditions, could not be expected to make an income. We all wish that wealth could be more equally spread, but I direct the attention of Senator Collings to the fact that in no country in the world is wealth so evenly distributed as in Australia, and also to the fact that in no other country aTe there so many savings bank accounts in proportion to the population as there are in Australia. More than 4,000,000 people in Australia have savings accounts. T counsel Senator Collings to look at the statistics and compare the conditions of employment, the wealth per capita, and the savings bank deposits in Australia to-day after the Lyons Government has been a few years in office with the condition of affairs when the Labour party was in power. If he did so, the honorable senator would be sorry that he spoke.

I he CHAIRMAN. - Order ! The honorable senator may not enter upon a dissertation on the Lyons Government or any other government.

Senator GUTHRIE - Perhaps the statistics are not so complete and up to date as we should wish to have them, but they do show an enormous increase of employment, and savings, and a wide distribution of wealth in comparison with what obtains in other countries.

Senator Foll - Does the honorable senator believe that wealth should be mors evenly distributed in Australia ?

Senator GUTHRIE - I do. The more evenly wealth is spread over the whole community the better for the country.

Senator Brennan - If a man supports his wife, she is shown in the census as unemployed.

Senator GUTHRIE - The statistics should be more completely analysed so that we might have available to us all possible data to enable us to form our judgments and govern this country for the betterment of its people.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Proposed vote- Attorney-General, £34,720 - agreed to.

Department of the Interior.

Proposed vote,£75,430.

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